Barcelona’s cinematic streets are a playground for culture, where swings and slides are replaced by chic galleries and concert halls. Throughout the city there are a collection of music venues, blasting out everything from soul-filled jazz to the hottest in indie rock. Most of the gigs kick off early evening, playing to laidback crowds sipping on drinks and, in some places, tucking into tapas. A few strum away into the early hours of the morning, but those that take place in bars and clubs pack up at midnight to make way for the clubbing crowd. Here are some of the best gig venues in Barcelona to keep your musical mind happy.
This popular jazz landmark has seen hundreds of famous musicians grace its basement stage, tooting out soulful classics and upbeat tunes. The club’s name means ‘tribal reunion’ in Zulu, and its intimate atmosphere certainly reflects this.
Barcelona’s pivotal club also doubles up as a live music venue, showcasing some of the world’s best talent at any given time. The likes of the Arctic Monkeys to Bananarama have whipped the crowds up into a frenzy here in the five-roomed labyrinth.
Luz de Gas
Set inside an old music hall that has been primped and preened into a new life, this live concert venue is doused in class with chandeliers and traditional friezes. It hosts gigs from international artists and charity concerts for local causes, as well as nightly residences from DJs of all different genres.
Sprawling over 42,500 square metres, this huge cultural venue is the perfect place to sample some local music. The building itself is a work of art, designed by Rafael Moneo in the 80s, but it’s the classical concerts that really give it its name – particularly those from the in-house Catalonia Higher School of Music.
Palau de la Musica
Barcelona’s best-loved classical concert venue is hidden away inside an ornate modernisme building in the trendy El Born district. Its monthly programme covers a grand selection of shows, from chamber concerts and orchestral performances, to piano recitals and operatic shows. With a number of rooms dotted throughout its interior, there are plenty of places to catch a tune or two whilst you’re there.
Nestled in the magical mountain of Montjuic, this ancient Greek amphitheatre was actually built in 1929 by Ramon Reventos, a Catalan architect. Today it hosts a collection of concerts and music gigs throughout the summer months under the clear blue Spanish skies.
Harlem Jazz Club
This jazz bar’s name precedes it, giving age-old history to one of the city’s most legendary jazz clubs. Set down the winding streets of the Gothic Quarter, it’s ramshackle surroundings give it that extra soulful oomph. Live gigs take place in the early evening, before saxophones and trumpets are replaced by infectious dance tunes.
Sala Apolo is made up of two venues, Apolo 1 and Apolo 2, each of which boast their own distinct schedules. Apolo 1, an old theatre space with high ceilings and plenty of red velvet, plays host to classical concerts and popular music gigs, whilst Apolo 2 acts more like a club with a darker ambiance and a banging sound system.
Heliogabal is a small bar in the Gràcia neighborhood that’s a gathering spot for Barcelona’s hipsters and audiophiles. The establishment’s line up of performances falls on the unknown and eclectic side, with the spotlight often shining on local indy rock and pop acts that you’ve probably never heard of but are great nonetheless. If you want to discover new music, this is the place to be.